Konichiwa

We are HERE. And it is wonderful. We even managed to sleep on our flight over! I have already decided I am never, ever coming to Japan in August again, as this heat and humidity is positively unholy, but I have also decided not to let it ruin the holiday for me either, so onward and upward!

We arrived at Narita this morning and the heat hit us in the face as we took the stairs to the tarmac. I collected my bag from the luggage carousel and it was wet from the humidity. We breezed through customs, took a shuttle to Terminal 2, and grabbed something to eat from good ol’ 7/11. Australia needs to take a leaf out of Japan’s book. I grabbed a not-too-suspicious looking salad and it was delightful, with a spicy, peanutty sauce and yummy noodles. Then we sat on a very long train ride into Ueno station, fiddling with our SIM cards and looking at the scenery.

We found our transfer to the next line without too much difficulty, and walked to our hostel, Aizuya Inn, from Minami-Senju station. It’s a lovely hostel – small, quiet, but very clean and pretty, with lots of friendly staff and helpful tips. It was too early to check in, so we dumped our bags, took advantage of the free wifi and air-conditioning, then ventured out into the heat once more in search of food.

 

 

We ended up near the station, taking a punt on an all-Japanese menu and just asking for things that looked nice, without knowing what we were getting. It paid off.

Yes, yes, and yes again.

We also walked past one of the CRAZY pokies machine places, where you go through the doors and are assaulted by a wall of noise, completely unexpectedly. I swear, all the gamblers must be stone deaf.

Then it was back to the hostel. COLD SHOWERS ARE MY FAVOURITE THING. Feeling approximately 200% more human, now that I was fed and clean, I lounged in our room, stretching out under the air-con and reading my book while Sean snored (he didn’t get nearly as much plane sleep as I). By the time we were ready to venture out again, we were in fresh clothes, with fresh energy and a borrowed umbrella, which definitely helped combat the heat.

The rare bearded geisha

We went to Tokyo station, to meet my gorgeous friend Kristina, who is traveling with her lovely godfather. They have been in Tokyo a day longer than us, and were marginally more accustomed to the heat. We swapped stories and went in search of food, ending up at a restaurant with dishes larger than our own heads.

 

We pressed on through our exhaustion and headed to Shibuya, to see the famous crossing, the Hachiko mural wall, and the general craziness. I love this part of Tokyo because it feels so…like what you expect Tokyo to be like. It’s like Times Square, but crazier. We picked up ice creams and basically just went for a long walk through the district, checking out the crowds and the many, many shops.

 

Sean’s favourite club

 

Would you care for a Pacific Rim or Avengers cocktail?

It wasn’t long before we said our goodbyes and headed back to the hostel. There is a lot of sleep to catch up on tonight! First though, we went and sat up on the hostel terrace, with lovely views and a peaceful atmosphere, to enjoy a drink before bed. Now to attempt the sleep. We need to have all the energy for tomorrow!

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